Mountain Biking takes practically no land

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Jeff Strickland, May 21, 2003.

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  1. A mountain bike trail that is an average of 2ft wide takes less than a quarter acre of land for
    every mile in length. A single trail in a square mile of land takes less than 0.0004% of the area,
    this leaves 99.9996 of any habitat available for wildlife and plants. Since most open space
    (habitat) has growth that is below the level of the handle bars, the trail width in the vast
    majority of the areas is less than 2ft wide, leaving even more area for the species that live there.
    Given the vast majority of square miles of open space have no trails in them at all, mountain bike
    trails (and hiking trails, for that matter) take an insignificant amount of land away from the
    habitat and its species.

    In spite of the rhetoric often seen here that mountain bikes destroy the land, keep in mind the real
    facts as I have spelled them out. A square mile is 640 acres, an acre is 43,560 sq ft. A trail that
    is a mile long and 2ft wide takes up 10,560 sq ft, or just under .25 acres. As a percentage of the
    space, this trail is 0.000379% (0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%) of the space. This is just the square mile
    that has a trail, there are thousands of square miles with no trails at all, and there are very few
    trails that are dedicated to bikes only, the vast majority are shared use trails, and more bike
    routes share with automobiles than with pedestrians.
     
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  2. Steve Petree

    Steve Petree Guest

    However, a mountain bike trail is more than the land it takes up, consider the parking lot at the
    trail head, (I know, not very much space, but bear with me), the picnic tables, commodes, and creek
    crossings, etc.

    The impact to the habitat is not just the trail, but the users as well, including the parking lot,
    picnic tables, etc. Just like horses, wildlife doesn't know what a bicyclist is going to do,
    careening at them at 15MPH, they're going to be disturbed, I see that every time I go, so your
    average squirrel, or deer is going to go "there goes the neighborhood" and skidaddle. Just as a
    road is more than the asphalt it is made from, there a impacts from bike trails more than the space
    they take up.

    That said, I still believe that mountain bikes, and their advocacy, improve land use beyond all of
    the other detrimental use, such as development, lumber, & golf courses. Id rather see a bike trail
    than a golf course, but I'm not a golfer, I suspect environmentalists would rather see no changes
    from people, but the essence of debate is figuring out which compromise best fits everyone's needs,
    so I'll accept a golf course over a housing development, and bike trails over golf courses, but I'm
    not always going to be happy about the choices others make. (Who am I to tell a land owner to not
    make a profit?).

    The best that any of can do is continue the debate, sometimes a trail will be made available to
    bikes, sometimes a trail will be closed to all. It's best that we ALL decide how public land
    will be used.

    See you on the trails.. Steve

    Jeff Strickland wrote:

    >A mountain bike trail that is an average of 2ft wide takes less than a quarter acre of land for
    >every mile in length. A single trail in a square mile of land takes less than 0.0004% of the area,
    >this leaves 99.9996 of any habitat available for wildlife and plants. Since most open space
    >(habitat) has growth that is below the level of the handle bars, the trail width in the vast
    >majority of the areas is less than 2ft wide, leaving even more area for the species that live
    >there. Given the vast majority of square miles of open space have no trails in them at all,
    >mountain bike trails (and hiking trails, for that matter) take an insignificant amount of land away
    >from the habitat and its species.
    >
    >In spite of the rhetoric often seen here that mountain bikes destroy the land, keep in mind the
    >real facts as I have spelled them out. A square mile is 640 acres, an acre is 43,560 sq ft. A trail
    >that is a mile long and 2ft wide takes up 10,560 sq ft, or just under .25 acres. As a percentage of
    >the space, this trail is 0.000379% (0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%) of the space. This is just the square
    >mile that has a trail, there are thousands of square miles with no trails at all, and there are
    >very few trails that are dedicated to bikes only, the vast majority are shared use trails, and more
    >bike routes share with automobiles than with pedestrians.
    >
    >
     
  3. Matt

    Matt Guest

    The fact that you think it's necessary to go to this length to defend mountain biking is a little
    scary. Most reasonable people do not think mountain biking causes any significant damage to the
    environment. And those few people that do think it's harmful aren't going to be swayed by something
    as simple as logic.

    Every action taken by humankind has some impact on the environment. Mountain biking should be pretty
    far down on the list of things to be concerned with. People that are focused on being against
    mountain bikers need to step back and take a look at the big picture.

    Go ride your mountian bike wherever you want (legally) and don't worry about what a few extremeists
    that never leave their house think about it. But do make sure to fight these people when they try to
    influence our politicians to limit what little freedoms we do have left. The real tragedy is that
    vocal minorities can have such influence over the silent majority when it comes to politics.

    Matt

    "Jeff Strickland" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > A mountain bike trail that is an average of 2ft wide takes less than a quarter acre of land for
    > every mile in length. A single trail in a square mile of land takes less than 0.0004% of the area,
    > this leaves 99.9996 of
    any
    > habitat available for wildlife and plants. Since most open space (habitat) has growth that is
    > below the level of the handle bars, the trail width in the vast majority of the areas is less than
    > 2ft wide, leaving even more
    area
    > for the species that live there. Given the vast majority of square miles
    of
    > open space have no trails in them at all, mountain bike trails (and hiking trails, for that
    > matter) take an insignificant amount of land away from
    the
    > habitat and its species.
    >
    > In spite of the rhetoric often seen here that mountain bikes destroy the land, keep in mind the
    > real facts as I have spelled them out. A square
    mile
    > is 640 acres, an acre is 43,560 sq ft. A trail that is a mile long and 2ft wide takes up 10,560 sq
    > ft, or just under .25 acres. As a percentage of
    the
    > space, this trail is 0.000379% (0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%) of the space.
    This
    > is just the square mile that has a trail, there are thousands of square miles with no trails at
    > all, and there are very few trails that are dedicated to bikes only, the vast majority are shared
    > use trails, and more bike routes share with automobiles than with pedestrians.
     
  4. Ctg

    Ctg Guest

    "Steve Petree" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > However, a mountain bike trail is more than the land it takes up, consider the parking lot at the
    > trail head, (I know, not very much space, but bear with me), the picnic tables, commodes, and
    > creek crossings, etc.
    >
    > The impact to the habitat is not just the trail, but the users as well, including the parking lot,
    > picnic tables, etc. Just like horses, wildlife doesn't know what a bicyclist is going to do,
    > careening at them at 15MPH, they're going to be disturbed, I see that every time I go, so your
    > average squirrel, or deer is going to go "there goes the neighborhood" and skidaddle.

    They'll run off the trail momentarily, they won't think anything about their "neighborhood." If that
    logic held up you would never see any animals on any established and used trails. They'll be as
    disturbed as they would be with any larger animal they perceive as a possible predator. Disneyesque
    ideas about animlas thinking is a bit nutty.

    Chris
     
  5. Peter H

    Peter H Guest

    Steve Petree wrote:

    > I suspect environmentalists would rather see no changes from people, ...........

    Consider that the environmentalists (?) have already spent many generations bringing changes, nearly
    all of them irreversible within our time frame: office buldings, residential subdivisions, shopping
    malls, little league ball parks, multi-lane interstate highways, tennis courts, slums, prep schools,
    "theme" parks, country clubs..........

    Pete H

    --
    The unspoken word is capital. We can invest it or we can squander it.
    M. Twain
     
  6. Bb

    Bb Guest

    On Thu, 22 May 2003 00:00:52 GMT, ctg wrote:

    > They'll run off the trail momentarily, they won't think anything about their "neighborhood." If
    > that logic held up you would never see any animals on any established and used trails. They'll be
    > as disturbed as they would be with any larger animal they perceive as a possible predator.
    > Disneyesque ideas about animlas thinking is a bit nutty.

    Well, not as nutty as Disneyesque ideas of animals "feeling", or "listening to what they
    have to say"!

    Anyone who's done much mountain biking has observed that animals don't go beserk at the sight of a
    bicycle - very much the opposite. They usually just stand there and gawk as we pass (as long as we
    don't stop). I've come as close as six feet from a standing deer, and passed chipmunks, squirrels,
    and bunnies standing right on the trailside watching me go by. Sometimes they saunter off the trail
    so slowly that I have to really hit the brakes to make sure they have enough time to clear off at
    such a leisurely pace.

    Horses are the exception; they can go beserk at the sight of pretty much anything unexpected. I
    lived around those skittish beasts for years, and have seen them blow a mental fuse for all sorts of
    reasons. Some are worse than others, of course.

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  7. Gyp

    Gyp Guest

    Jeff Strickland wrote: <eco stuff snipped>

    Well said...Its good that you care and are accualy dedicated some thought to your impact on the
    environment. Their are plenty of people that don't think about their actions..

    I understand that the bigest mountain bike complaint/impact is trail damage. So when the topsoil is
    distrurbed and ruts form on slopes heavy rain then causes gullies and soil errosion sets in. Thus
    new trails are created along side the old and process repeats.

    Saying that all of the trails I ride are monitored and legal and even on these I attempt not to dig
    in the rear tyre any more than I have to.

    Like most sports there will be the minority that do the damage that spoil it for the rest of us. So
    on this basis I can understand when areas of natral beuty are closed off to vehicles etc.

    Regards Gyp
     
  8. Jeff Strickland wrote:
    >
    snip
    > In spite of the rhetoric often seen here that mountain bikes destroy the land, keep in mind the
    > real facts as I have spelled them out. A square mile is 640 acres, an acre is 43,560 sq ft. A
    > trail that is a mile long and 2ft wide takes up 10,560 sq ft, or just under .25 acres. As a
    > percentage of the space, this trail is 0.000379% (0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%) of the space.
    snip

    You are off by a factor of 100. .2424/640 = 0.0379%.

    Stergios
     
  9. Jjens

    Jjens Guest

    In rec.backcountry BB <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Anyone who's done much mountain biking has observed that animals don't go beserk at the sight of a
    > bicycle - very much the opposite. They usually just stand there and gawk as we pass (as long as we
    > don't stop). I've come as close as six feet from a standing deer, and passed chipmunks, squirrels,
    > and bunnies standing right on the trailside watching me go by. Sometimes they saunter off the
    > trail so slowly that I have to really hit the brakes to make sure they have enough time to clear
    > off at such a leisurely pace.

    Strangely enough, I did have a ground squirrel turn and "attack me" once.

    I was going up a slowish fire-road with some friends when we surprised the squirrel. It chose me as
    its target, and I watched it dig in its little paws and charge, making these little barking sounds.
    I was too surprised and just waited to see what would happen next. When it got about two feet from
    my pedals it changed its mind, and reached its little paws out to grab some dirt, made a 90-degree
    turn, and ran off.

    It was really wierd. (I can still see that little face.)

    jjens
     
  10. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    jjens wrote:

    > Strangely enough, I did have a ground squirrel turn and "attack me" once.
    >
    > I was going up a slowish fire-road with some friends when we surprised the squirrel. It chose me
    > as its target, and I watched it dig in its little paws and charge, making these little barking
    > sounds. I was too surprised and just waited to see what would happen next. When it got about two
    > feet from my pedals it changed its mind, and reached its little paws out to grab some dirt, made a
    > 90-degree turn, and ran off.
    >
    > It was really wierd. (I can still see that little face.)

    I crapped myself last night. I surprised a couple of young deer and they in turn surprised me. First
    I knew about it was this young stag charging towards me. Fortunately, about 10 yards away he got his
    bearings and charged off in the other direction with his mate.

    I've seen the damage deer do to cars, I'm glad he decided not to carry on charging.

    --
    a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm

    b.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
     
  11. Fritz M

    Fritz M Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > In spite of the rhetoric often seen here that mountain bikes destroy the land

    What rhetoric? *Some* of us know how to use killfiles.

    RFM
    --
    To reply, translate domain from l33+ 2p33|< to alpha. 4=a 0=o 3=e +=t
     
  12. "Steve Petree" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > However, a mountain bike trail is more than the land it takes up, consider the parking lot at the
    > trail head, (I know, not very much space, but bear with me), the picnic tables, commodes, and
    > creek crossings, etc.
    >
    The parking lot at the trail head is insignificant, and would be there to support the other
    activities that take place on the trail.

    > The impact to the habitat is not just the trail, but the users as well, including the parking lot,
    > picnic tables, etc. Just like horses, wildlife doesn't know what a bicyclist is going to do,
    > careening at them at 15MPH, they're going to be disturbed, I see that every time I go, so your
    > average squirrel, or deer is going to go "there goes the neighborhood" and skidaddle. Just as a
    > road is more than the asphalt it is made from, there a impacts from bike trails more than the
    > space they take up.
    >
    "Careening" is such an emotional term. I drive a Jeep, and have seen Big Horn sheep, or deer, or
    bears just standing around beside the trails watching us drive by. When we are gone, they resume
    whatever they were doing before we got there. We seldom drive around with the motors running at full
    tilt, spewing exhaust and kicking up dirt and dust, our normal way of traveling is at speeds much
    closer to walking speeds (the guys I hang around with engage in rock crawling, not desert racing --
    these are significantly different mindsets) than entering-the-freeway speeds.

    > That said, I still believe that mountain bikes, and their advocacy, improve land use beyond all of
    > the other detrimental use, such as development, lumber, & golf courses. Id rather see a bike trail
    > than a golf course, but I'm not a golfer, I suspect environmentalists would rather see no changes
    > from people, but the essence of debate is figuring out which compromise best fits everyone's
    > needs, so I'll accept a golf course over a housing development, and bike trails over golf courses,
    > but I'm not always going to be happy about the choices others make. (Who am I to tell a land owner
    > to not make a profit?).
    >

    My position exactly; a bike trail is much less of an impact than a golf course or mini mall.
     
  13. "Stergios Papadakis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Jeff Strickland wrote:
    > >
    > snip
    > > In spite of the rhetoric often seen here that mountain bikes destroy the land, keep in mind the
    > > real facts as I have spelled them out. A square
    mile
    > > is 640 acres, an acre is 43,560 sq ft. A trail that is a mile long and
    2ft
    > > wide takes up 10,560 sq ft, or just under .25 acres. As a percentage of
    the
    > > space, this trail is 0.000379% (0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%) of the space.
    > snip
    >
    > You are off by a factor of 100. .2424/640 = 0.0379%.
    >

    You are the one that is off, .242424 / 640 = 0.00037879, 24.24 / 640 = .0379

    >
    > Stergios
     
  14. Jeff Strickland wrote:
    >
    > "Stergios Papadakis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...

    > > You are off by a factor of 100. .2424/640 = 0.0379%.
    > >
    >
    > You are the one that is off, .242424 / 640 = 0.00037879, 24.24 / 640 = .0379

    What is 1% of 100?

    .000379 = .0379%

    Stergios
     
  15. 25 / 100 = 25%, 0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%

    You are the one that is off.

    "Stergios Papadakis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Jeff Strickland wrote:
    > >
    > > "Stergios Papadakis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > > You are off by a factor of 100. .2424/640 = 0.0379%.
    > > >
    > >
    > > You are the one that is off, .242424 / 640 = 0.00037879, 24.24 / 640 =
    .0379
    >
    >
    > What is 1% of 100?
    >
    > .000379 = .0379%
    >
    > Stergios
     
  16. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > 25 / 100 = 25%, 0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%
    >
    > You are the one that is off.
    >

    I think your calculations don't match. 25/100 = 0.25 but 0.2424 / 640 = .000379. So, you'd have to
    multiply by 100 to get 25% and 0.0379%.

    --
    Bob
     
  17. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    Jeff Strickland wrote:
    > 25 / 100 = 25%, 0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%
    >
    > You are the one that is off.

    on basic maths.

    25 / 100 = 0.25 .25 x 100 = 25%

    .2424 / 640 = 0.000379 .000379 x 100 = 0.0379%
     
  18. OK, even still the space taken by a path or trail is insignificant.

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Jeff Strickland" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > 25 / 100 = 25%, 0.2424 / 640 = 0.000379%
    > >
    > > You are the one that is off.
    > >
    >
    > I think your calculations don't match. 25/100 = 0.25 but 0.2424 / 640 = .000379. So, you'd have to
    > multiply by 100 to get 25% and 0.0379%.
    >
    > --
    > Bob
     
  19. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    Andy Chequer wrote:

    > Andy Chequer, hey am-b how's it hangin......

    "Hallo Dr Andy!"
     
  20. Andy Chequer

    Andy Chequer Guest

    "bomba" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Andy Chequer wrote:
    >
    > > Andy Chequer, hey am-b how's it hangin......
    >
    > "Hallo Dr Andy!"

    Ello mate. Ello Rimmer, an'all.

    Andy Chequer
     
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